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4 tips for developing effective professional development for blended learning

The Christensen Institute

With the growing prevalence of blended learning in classrooms across the country, the need for teacher training for effective implementation is more critical than ever. In order to better understand the skills and training required to implement blended learning effectively, I conducted a three-year doctoral research study at three public school sites in Los Angeles. Allow teachers to experience blended learning as a learner.

New resource: Personalized Learning Playbook

The Christensen Institute

Education Elements, an education consulting company, is one of the pioneers in blended learning. Through its experience working with K–12 schools to create blended-learning programs, it has been at the forefront of developing some of the tools, models, and expertise for making blended learning work. Given the company’s vast experience and impressive results , it was exciting to read CEO and Founder Anthony Kim’s new book, Personalized Learning Playbook.

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Bullish on blended-learning clusters

The Christensen Institute

An increasing number of regions are trying to create concentrated groups of blended-learning schools alongside education technology companies, which may be key to advancing the blended-learning field and increasing its odds of personalizing learning at scale to allow every child to be successful. As Steven Hodas, the former director of that effort, has written , Digital Promise and the U.S.

Blended learning enables meaningful personal interaction

The Christensen Institute

Conversations around blended learning often focus on devices, software, and classroom layouts, but some of the most powerful benefits of blended learning are the ways in which it allows teachers to have richer and more meaningful interactions with students, parents, and colleagues. Sean explains how blended learning has allowed him to be more in touch with his students and to collaborate with his colleagues.

How we improved our blended-learning program

eSchool News

Ubiquitous access to technology means that acquiring knowledge is no longer dependent solely on a classroom teacher. Access to unlimited new information has created seemingly contradictory qualities in today’s students—more self-reliant and independent, but with a preference toward collaborative learning environments and comfortable learning with other students. Today’s students believe technology should be seamlessly connected to their academic experiences.

Personalized learning in the context of a person, not a school

The Christensen Institute

Personalized learning is the current big buzz in education. Everyone is trying to figure out how best to personalize the learning experience for each and every child. Like many others, I think customizing learning more deeply to match students’ interests, needs, and aspirations is what we should be doing to prepare today’s children for success in an ever-shifting, technology-fueled society and workplace.

Belief—the first key to blended learning success

The Christensen Institute

When her principal, Jon Cooney, began encouraging ambitious blended learning initiatives across her school, she felt tentative. She thought blended learning made sense for math classes, but that ELA was more centered around reading together, having class discussions, and thinking in groups—activities that she believed wouldn’t work as well in smaller groups. But with Cooney’s support, she started experimenting with blended learning and iterating on her classroom model.

Personalizing Learning with Branching Google Forms

EdTechTeacher

The following article was published in the most recent edition of Digital Learning Magazine in my column, “The Tech Savvy Classroom with Shawn McCusker.”. Click here for a link to the complete article published in Digital Learning Magazine. Personalized learning creates a variety of challenges for teachers. Understanding the tools that can support the creation of a personalized path for each student is a key part of making it work.

A school leader’s guide to personalized learning

The Christensen Institute

I recently caught up with Mary Ann Wolf, PhD, Elizabeth Bobst and Nancy Mangum to discuss some of the key takeaways of their new book, Leading Personalized and Digital Learning: A Framework for Implementing School Change. The authors offer guidance for principals and other school leaders who are aiming to leverage the power of technology to help make student-centered learning a reality.

From the classroom to the boardroom: Why teachers are essential to blended-learning design

The Christensen Institute

I recently attended the Blended and Personalized Learning Conference , which the Christensen Institute co-hosted with the Highlander Institute, to listen to school leaders from across the country discuss blended-learning implementation and best practices. To be clear, nearly every successful school and district has a principal or superintendent who exhibits strong leadership and is committed to improving student learning outcomes.

How Academic Publishers Can Push the Boundaries of Digital Learning

Edsurge

Digital learning platforms are not, however, simply a matter of reproducing a print-first approach via high fidelity ebooks. As the financial viability of printed textbooks declines little by little, the demand for alternatives like online learning content continues to grow. Digital learning platforms are not, however, simply a matter of reproducing a print-first approach via high fidelity ebooks. Create Courseware Using Learning Objects Seth's Reading List.

Change education to attack technology-driven unemployment

The Christensen Institute

Fears are mounting that the rapid technological advances occurring will automate and displace jobs on a scale never before seen. In a piece for Quartz this past week, I addressed how moving to a blended learning, competency-based education system in which students advance based on mastery, not time, could address many of the concerns by better preparing citizens for the demands ahead.

Stop pitting technology against quality, in-person time

The Christensen Institute

In a New York Times op-ed a couple weeks ago, Susan Pinker, the author of The Village Effect: How Face-to-Face Contact Can Make us Healthier, Happier, and Smarter , showcased the evidence that too much technology can be a bad thing, particularly for the most vulnerable students in our society. Districts tempted to start with technology for its own sake should pay heed. The point is that technology need not mean bad outcomes, but can unleash some stellar ones.

New research answers whether technology is good or bad for learning

The Christensen Institute

For years educators and scholars have debated whether technology aids learning or inhibits it. Other studies have shown similarly dismal numbers for student learning when technology is introduced in the classroom. Yet there are also bright shining stars of technology use—both in proof points and in studies, such as this Ithaka study or this U.S. As we disruptive innovation acolytes like to say, it’s almost always about the model, not the technology.

What Separates a Good Blended Learning Program From a Bad One?

Edsurge

These days many schools tout blended learning programs when marketing their school to potential students. Blended learning can combine the flexibility of online instruction with the benefits of in-person teaching. But much like nutritional claims, such as “all-natural” and “healthy,” the term “blended learning” can mean just about anything depending on how you define it. The Good The best blended learning programs seem to have some common threads.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work—Building a Successful Blended Learning Program

Edsurge

Three years ago, with the help of the education agency the Grant Wood Area Education Agency (GWAEA), Iowa rolled out its initiative to implement blended learning as a model for the state. Prompted by district administrators’ desire to find ways to build student agency, engage student passion and personalize learning, we hoped blended learning would shake up the status quo and spark large scale change.

What Early Blended Learning Pioneers Got Right That Today's Schools Have Forgotten

Edsurge

When I first began blending digital and face-to-face learning, it was easy enough to create a flow between online learning spaces and offline learning. However, I noticed that sometimes my students were not getting as much out of the digital learning platform as I had anticipated. This was especially true when students could rush through their tasks, consuming content without real understanding or application of learning.

3 Takeaways from the Inaugural Digital Learning Annual Conference

Education Superhighway

Seven years ago, a wide-scale digital learning conference was unheard of because the majority of school districts across the country weren’t equipped with the infrastructure or technology to implement a robust digital curriculum. Thankfully, over the past several years, federal, state and local leaders have worked to tackle the digital divide, which has results in 98 percent of school districts now meeting minimum connectivity goals.

#SmartSeries Refresh: Blended Learning Implementation Guide 3.0

ExcelinEd

A lot has happened in the world of digital learning since ExcelinEd’s Digital Learning Now initiative and Getting Smart released the first Smart Series paper in August 2012. Today, we’re sharing a blog post from Getting Smart highlighting the updated Smart Series paper “Blended Learning Implementation Guide 3.0.” ” Blended Learning Implementation Guide 3.0. Blended Learning Implementation Guide 3.0″

Why new technologies often don’t help students

The Christensen Institute

It’s easy to get caught up in the allure of new technologies. But the truth is, breakthrough innovations rarely come from the technologies themselves. Rather, they come from finding ways to use new technologies to rethink old patterns and processes. The story of factory electrification has a parallel in education technology. Fauteux’s blended-learning approach gave students more responsibility for their learning and helped them track their learning progress.

Personalized Learning and Digital Tools Weave Strong Fabric for Student Success

EdTech Magazine

Personalized Learning and Digital Tools Weave Strong Fabric for Student Success. According to Project Tomorrow’s 2017 Speak Up Research Project for Digital Learning , 56 percent of parents of school-aged children are concerned that their child isn’t learning the right skills in school to be successful in college or a future job. Personalized Learning Aids All Students. Collaboration and Blended Learning Fosters Critical Skills.

Massachusetts districts now trade notes on best paths to personalized learning

The Hechinger Report

Revere hosted a learning tour for other schools last year, to share its experiences with personalizing learning. Blended learning was the gateway to personalized learning in the Natick Public Schools, about 20 miles west of Boston. The district made sure each child had a laptop to use in class almost a decade ago, according to the current director of digital learning, Grace Magley. Meaning people learning from each other.

How K–12 Schools Should Define and Act on Digital Learning

EdTech Magazine

How K–12 Schools Should Define and Act on Digital Learning. To be honest, I hate the term blended learning. Let me explain why: In today’s world of education, blended learning gets thrown around for any type of new education involving technology. . We could go around any room of educators, ask what they think blended learning means , and get hundreds of different answers. What Does Blended Learning Mean for K–12?

Getting past the broken teachers vs. tech debate

The Christensen Institute

Last month, Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson stated that America needed to fix the escalating costs of higher education by replacing lectures from professors with online learning and educational videos such as Ken Burns’ documentaries. They coach and mentor their students to make learning relevant and meaningful, and they foster students’ interests in tackling complex, real-world problems.

T&L Leadership Summit Workgroup: Blended and Personalized Learning

techlearning

The need to create more authentic personalized learning opportunities for all learners was one of the top issues addressed at the March Tech & Learning Leadership Summit in Rosewood, California. The Summit coincided with commentary in the February 28, 2018 edition of EdWeek that identified personalized learning as one of the things Education Secretary Betsy DeVos should prioritize for her second year in office.

21 Top Professional Development Topics For Teachers Now

The CoolCatTeacher

However, our professional accreditation requirements are still on track and need to be renewed, as we have to learn and up our abilities for the fall. They fit into the categories of SEL, digital instruction, engagement/management, and leadership. Social-Emotional Learning.

Course 299

Rethink funding for quality learning

The Christensen Institute

It’s not surprising, then, that we’ve likewise seen dramatic growth in private investment in EdTech as demand for online and blended learning solutions grows: in 2014 alone, U.S. Ideally, EdTech should serve as a tool that helps to actively personalize teaching and learning to students needs. But the rapid growth of the EdTech market alone will not inevitably give rise to more personalized learning models that drive student outcomes.

Disruptive innovation can help solve nation’s teacher shortage

The Christensen Institute

A critique against the power of disruptive innovation to help our schools educate each child more effectively has been a backhanded one: Yes, re-architecting schools around personalized learning is important, but even more important is having a highly effective teacher for every child. Online learning advocates have for a long time made this point. Second, officials should move from seat-time requirements to competency-based learning models.

Course 247

Inputs do not guarantee outcomes: Getting online credit recovery right

The Christensen Institute

The Los Angeles Unified School District is back in the news for its use of technology, this time for its online credit-recovery courses. Actual learning—not a piece of paper—should be the goal for every student. That recommendation, if realized, would bind LA Unified to a time-bound, one-size-fits-all model that fails to focus on the most important criterion—whether a student has learned the material.

The Role of Digital Learning Platforms in the Academic Growth of Students

Kitaboo on EdTech

What are digital learning platforms? Gone are the days when learning was restricted to the classroom, with the instructor being the primary source of knowledge. A digital learning platform can be a learning management system (LMS) or learning content management systems (LCMS).

VLE 52

Debate on new education law overlooks future of testing

The Christensen Institute

Seeing the rapid growth of testing in recent decades, many educators and parents are tired of tests taking time away from learning and want the federal government to push back on its prominence in schools. Others, including civil rights advocates, have warned about the consequences of walking away from annual tests that measure whether students from all backgrounds are learning. Enabled by technology, future assessment systems will be both less intrusive and more precise.

Not Just About Students: The Importance of Personalizing Learning for Teachers

Edsurge

My journey as an educator began thirty years ago and—I’ll admit—references to personalized learning were never mentioned or formally discussed back then. We consider physical changes as being individual and unique, yet do we recognize that each person’s learning journey can be just as individual? Notice, I said “students,” but let’s remember that lifelong learning is for all—including those educators who have direct impact on students.

Getting past the broken teachers vs. tech debate

The Christensen Institute

Last month, Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson stated that America needed to fix the escalating costs of higher education by replacing lectures from professors with online learning and educational videos such as Ken Burns’ documentaries. They coach and mentor their students to make learning relevant and meaningful, and they foster students’ interests in tackling complex, real-world problems.

Educational choice, not school choice, making moves in Florida

The Christensen Institute

The reason for this is that when a technology is immature, in order to make the products reliable or powerful enough so that they will gain traction, an entity has to wrap its hands around the whole system architecture so that it can wring out every ounce of performance. As a technology matures, however, it eventually overshoots the raw performance that many customers need. As products and their markets mature, however, technology grows more sophisticated, as do customers.

Tackle teacher shortages with online learning

The Christensen Institute

As we’ve written before , one affordable and flexible solution stands out: online and blended learning hold the potential to unlock new solutions to the nation’s teacher capacity challenges. For this to happen, policymakers and leaders will need to recognize online learning’s potential and to legislate and plan accordingly. These technologies, in turn, allow teachers in those subjects to provide more up-to-date and relevant experiences for their students.